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Spurrier nominated for SA Australian of the Year


SA chief medical officer Professor Nicola Spurrier, an Indigenous advocate and AFL executive and a doctor committed to childbirth safety are among the nominations for SA Australian of the Year.

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 They are among 16 South Australians named today as in the running for the 2021 awards, including the state’s Local Hero, Young Australian and Senior Australian of the Year.

SA Australian of the Year nominees

Tanya Hosch, 49, has held leadership roles in sport, the arts, culture, social justice and public policy and was first Indigenous and second woman appointed to the AFL executive.

She championed the first Indigenous player statue of Nicky Winmar, instigated a review of anti-vilification policy, helped secure an apology for Adam Goodes from the AFL and delivered a new industry framework to help prevent racist treatment of players.

Dr Joy O’Hazy, 63, has tackled global pregnancy and childbirth deaths and complications by setting up and distributing birthing kits, giving women access to basic, clean items. More than two million have now been distributed, while thousands of birth attendants have been trained. O’Hazy  currently mentors young members of the South Sudanese community.

Jennifer Howard, 39, founded registered charity Safe Pets Safe Families, which provides emergency services for people and their pets in times of crisis such as domestic violence, homelessness, mental illness and medical emergencies.

The charity works to raise awareness about the link between animal abuse and family violence, saying research shows many women delay leaving a violent relationship if they have nowhere to take their pets.

Professor Nicola Spurrier, 53, is a paediatrician and physician and is SA’s chief medical officer who spent 29 years developing and implementing policies and programs across child health, obesity prevention and Aboriginal health, before leading the state’s pandemic response strategy.

Spurrier co-ordinates with government and non-government agencies and has been the South Australian lead on the national pandemic response. 

 2021 SA Senior Australian of the Year nominees

Professor Richard Bruggeman – Disability advocate (Kensington Park, Adelaide)

Pamela Catcheside – Mycologist (Bellevue Heights)

Peter Mungkuri OAM – Artist and cultural leader (Indulkana)

Dr David Squirrell – Advocate for the vision impaired (Hallett Cove)

2021 SA Young Australian of the Year nominees

Alicia Beik – Businesswoman and migrant activist (Modbury)

Isobel Marshall – Social entrepreneur (Adelaide)

Tori Marshall – Founder and Director of Lift Up Voices (Parkside, Adelaide)

Holly Scott – Road safety advocate (Mount Barker)

2021 SA Local Hero nominees

Russell Ebert OAM – Respectful relationships advocate (West Lakes, Adelaide)

Rodney O’Brien – Kaurna Cultural Advisor (Alberton)

Craig Scott – President Goodwood Saints Football Club (West Beach, Adelaide)

Melanie Tate – CEO and founder Puddle Jumpers Inc (Glandore)

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand said the South Australia nominees reflect the many ways in which people contribute to the community.

“In a year which has been particularly challenging for everyone, the South Australia award nominees remind us how important leadership, advocacy and inclusion are,” Brand said.

“There are so many people in our communities making a real difference, helping others and lifting us up to be better.”

The four award recipients from the four categories will be announced on Monday 12 October in a ceremony at Adelaide Oval.

They will then join the other state and territory recipients as national finalists for the national awards, to be announced on January 25. 

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